Up until now, no documented paintings by Jacques Bellange, one of the most celebrated Mannerist draughtsmen and engravers, had been identified. Archival documents showed he worked for the court of Charles III, Duke of Lorraine, from 1602 to 1616 and was responsible for the decoration of several rooms of the ducal palace of Nancy with his assistants, notably Jacques Danglus and Charles Chuppin.
The discovery of this unique series of paintings therefore constitutes a major addition to Bellange’s corpus and shines a new light on his role as “Court artist”. Himself an accomplished musician, he painted the central medallions, most of which symbolise music.
The staggering mystery surrounding this set of paintings is that the Manhattan Gilded Age mansion where they were hung remains unidentified. It is documented, however, that during his exile in New York in the early 1940’s, the famous Chilean collector Arturo Lopez Willshaw purchased the paintings from the rubbles of this same mansion as it was being torn down.
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